Debuts of the Decades: Celebrating The Soap Opera Veterans Who Debuted In The 60s and 70s!

We're celebrating our soap opera veterans who made their debut in the 60s and 70s! Check it out here ---->>>





Photos: ABC, CBS, NBC

Welcome back to our Debuts of the Decades series! In this final lineup, we are celebrating the currently on-screen soap opera veterans who made their debuts in the 1960s and 1970s. The incredible actresses and actors below are some of the most recognizable and beloved in the genre. Some of them have even made soap history! 


Peter Bergman - 1979



The incomparable Peter Bergman began his daytime journey as Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children back in 1979. After leaving the soap, he assumed the role of Jack Abbott on CBS’ The Young and the Restless where he has been ever since. He has been nominated for an astounding 23 Daytime Emmys with three wins for Outstanding Lead Actor under his belt. 

Melody Thomas Scott - 1979



This powerhouse actress has starred as Nikki Newman for over four decades now, proving herself to be one of daytime’s very best! Scott has been nominated twice for a Daytime Emmy including a Special Fan Award. She is also the 2001 Outstanding Lead Actress winner at the Soap Opera Digest Awards. 

Doug Davidson - 1978 



Doug Davidson recently celebrated 42 years since his debut as Paul Williams on The Young and the Restless! The long-running cast member won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in 2013 and has received three more nominations. He also was the winner of three Soap Opera Digest Awards in 1991, 1992, and 1997.  

Tracey E. Bregman - 1978 



Tracey’s role of Lauren Fenmore on The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful is her most notable daytime part...but her first came as Donna Temple Craig on Days of Our Lives in 1978. Bregman would go on to earn two Young Artist Awards - one for Days and one for YR - as well as a Daytime Emmy in 1985.

Genie Francis - 1977



The iconic Genie Francis stepped into daytime when she landed the role of Laura Webber on General Hospital - a beloved role that would lead to a Daytime Emmy in 2007. From 1987 to 1989, she played Diana Colville on Days of Our Lives before appearing on All My Children and Loving. She also starred on CBS’ The Young and the Restless as Genevieve Atkinson alongside a couple of her former GH castmates. 

Kin Shriner - 1977



This four-time Daytime Emmy nominee began his daytime career as Scott Baldwin on General Hospital. He has made the rounds over the years starring on soaps like Texas, Rituals, The Bold and the Beautiful, As the World Turns, and The Young and the Restless. In 1997, he brought his GH character back to Port Charles in the soap spinoff for a few years as well. 

Josh Taylor - 1977 



Josh Taylor has portrayed two memorable characters on Days of Our Lives. He first starred as Chris Kositchek until the 80s before later returning to step into the role of Roman Brady. Taylor has also had limited roles on The Young and the Restless and Guiding Light over the years. 

Jacklyn Zeman - 1976



In 1976, Jacklyn made her daytime start with roles on The Edge of Night and One Life to Live. Soon after she landed the role of Bobbie Spencer on ABC’s General Hospital, a role that she still plays today. She has been nominated four times for a Daytime Emmy. Zeman also is part of the webseries The Bay alongside many of her fellow soap stars.

John McCook - 1976



John McCook is one of two cast members who have been on The Bold and the Beautiful since day one but that wasn’t his first soap role. In 1976, he portrayed Lance Prentiss on The Young and the Restless. In the years after, he would bring his character of Eric Forrester back to Genoa City in several crossover episodes with the soap. McCook’s performance has earned three Daytime Emmy nominations for Lead Actor. 

Suzanne Rogers - 1973 



This veteran actress has the honor of being the very first winner of the Daytime Emmy for Supporting Actress. Rogers made her daytime debut as Days of Our Lives’ Maggie Horton - Grandma Maggie if you will - in 1973. She has the distinction of currently being the longest-running actress to appear continuously on the soap.


Deidre Hall - 1973



Hall is one of the most recognizable figures in daytime thanks to her role as Marlena Evans on Days of Our Lives. Though, it was her time on The Young and the Restless that came first. Evans starred as Barbara Anderson on the CBS soap in 1973. She has received three Daytime Emmy nominations for her work, including two for Lead Actress in 1984 and 1985.

Bill Hayes - 1970



The loveable and always entertaining Bill Hayes got his soap opera start in 1970 when he took on the role of Doug Williams. He still stars as the beloved character to this day. He received two consecutive Daytime Emmy nominations in 1975 and 1976. And in 2018, he received a lifetime achievement award from the organization alongside his wife and fellow Days co-star, Susan Seaforth Hayes. 


John Aniston - 1969



While Aniston is known for his role as Victor Kiriakis on Days of Our Lives, that wasn’t his first role on the soap. He portrayed Eric Richards from 1969 - 1970 on the series before heading to the CBS soap Search For Tomorrow. In 1985, he headed back to Salem where he continues to star today. He was even nominated at the 2017 Daytime Emmys for Outstanding Supporting Actor.

Marla Adams - 1968 



From 1968 to 1974, Marla starred as Belle Clemens on Secret Storm. Adams then went on to star as the complicated Dina Abbott Mergeron on CBS’ The Young and the Restless, where she earned her first Daytime Emmy nomination in 2018. In 1989, she played on Generations and also had a guest spot on Days of Our Lives. 

Leslie Charleson - 1964



Though she has played Monica Quartermaine on General Hospital for over four decades, Leslie Charleson got her daytime start all the way back in 1964 on the short-lived ABC soap A Flame in the Wind. She would then go on to have roles in As the World Turns and Love is A Many Splendored Thing before finding her way to Port Charles in 1977. Her work has earned four Daytime Emmy nominations in 1980, 1982, 1983, and 1995.

Susan Seaforth Hayes - 1964



The iconic Susan Seaforth Hayes has the honor of being the only actress to appear in every decade of Days of Our Lives since the 60s! In 1964, she began her daytime career with roles on General Hospital and the now-defunct soap The Young Marrieds. Hayes portrayed JoAnna Manning on The Young and the Restless and had a recurring role on Sunset Beach in 1999. In 2018, she was honored alongside her husband Bill with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daytime Emmys.

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Soap Opera News: Debuts of the Decades: Celebrating The Soap Opera Veterans Who Debuted In The 60s and 70s!
Debuts of the Decades: Celebrating The Soap Opera Veterans Who Debuted In The 60s and 70s!
We're celebrating our soap opera veterans who made their debut in the 60s and 70s! Check it out here ---->>>
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